Updated: Aug 8
The Deconstructed Shepherd's "Pie".
We are all counting down the days till the social distancing and self isolation restrictions start to let up. Before the Covid-19 pandemic happened preplanning my grocery list for weeks at a time was never something I considered doing. When I would go grocery shopping it was always for the usual stuff and then whatever else I happened to need that week for new recipes.
Now however is a totally different story. I started taking advantage of the online ordering system that my local grocery store has and started purchasing my groceries for two weeks at a time. The first week or so I use up all my fresh fruits and veggies and then in the last few days before my next order comes in I turn to frozen produce. This is where the inspiration for this recipe came from. I had a bunch of random ingredients in the freezer and pantry and figured I'd throw it all into a slow cooker and see what happened. The recipe ended up being delicious and I will definitely be making it again when my fresh produce runs out next!
This recipe is the perfect Covid-19 self isolation meal for the family. The ingredients are all things that you probably already have in your freezer and pantry and they can be easily substituted. It is also gluten free and dairy free.
This recipe proves that you can still make a healthy recipes on a budget with whatever you happen to have in the house. Plus it is super easy to make, you cant go wrong with this one!
Since most of us have some sort of noodle or pasta in the pantry I decided to skip the mashed potato layer and use my GoGo Gluten Free Pasta instead. This gluten free pasta is a rice and quinoa blend. The texture is great and you can't even tell it isn't a regular wheat based pasta. If eating gluten free isn't an issue for you you can use any pasta you have in the pantry.
Skip the potato layer and save so much time! No peeling, chopping, or mashing. You just have to toss the noodles in with the rest of the ingredients!
All the veggies in this recipe (corn, peas, carrots) were frozen. Having bags of frozen veggies is super convenient, less expensive than buying fresh, and long lasting. If you're on a budget, buying frozen produce is the way to go. Frozen fruit and veggies are picked while most ripe so flavour is never an issue. You are also still getting the same nutritional benefits that you would from fresh produce. For the Shepherd's "Pie" recipe you don't need to thaw out the veggies before placing them into the slow cooker.
In this recipe I used ground bison that I get from a local Edmonton butcher. Although you can use any ground meat for this recipe. Beef, chicken, turkey all would work really well. If you do sub out the bison for another ground meat the amount you would use is the same as what is listed in the ingredients.
If you would like to make this recipe vegan/vegetarian you can sub out the ground bison for a ground veggie meat alternative. You will also have to sub out the beef stock for a vegetable stock.
Check out the demo video for this recipe!
The steps to making the Shepherd's "Pie" are very simple and fast. Using the slow cooker allows you to mix all the ingredients in and then just leave it to cook. If you do not have a slow cooker you can use a large pot and cook on low. You will have to stir it on occasion though if you are using a large pot.
Before adding your ground meat to the slow cooker or large pot you will need to fry up your ground meat in a pan till cooked though. But if you are using a veggie ground you can skip this step.
Turn your slow cooker on high and set the timer for 1hr, add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker and stir. It's that simple!
If you are cooking in a large pot you will do the same step but place the pot on low heat and stir the "pie" on occasion so it does not stick to the bottom.
If you are using gluten free pasta you may need more cooking time. Gluten free pasta tends to take longer to cook than a wheat based pasta so check your noodles before taking the Shepards "Pie" out of the slow cooker.
This recipe makes 4-5 servings depending on what your meal sizes are and what your daily caloric intake is. If you need guidance on what the proper serving size is for your body feel free to reach out by email.
Desire Fitness is an Edmonton based personal trainer and nutrition coach that makes custom nutrition programs and incorporates recipes just like this in the meal plans. Message us for more info on how to have a custom program made for you.